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What the papers said 11 Aug 2017

rfi English, Aug 11

French press criticises Donald Trump's sabre-rattling on Korean Peninsula as verbal war with North Korea worsens.

Commentators take up the soaring tensions on the Korean peninsula over Pyongyang's missile programme, after another US warship sailed near an artificial island in the disputed South China Sea, prompting the Chinese navy to warn off the American destroyer.

It was the third so-called 'freedom of navigation operation' carried out by the United States since President Donald Trump took office in January.

The papers are quite irritated by the turn taken by Donald Trump's war games with North Korea's unpredictable leader Kim Jung-un, as Washington seeks to push China into restraining North Korea with experts in South Korea warning that the escalating sabre-rattling has grown into a mini Cuban missile crisis.

Le Midi Libre accuses Trump and Kim of behaving like children pointing out that while the American threatens Kim with "fire and fury" the Pyongyang strongman questioned Trump's IQ and mental health.

According to the paper, it would have been a very laughable issue had the two leaders trading insults not possess nuclear arsenals.

Luckily as Le Midi Libre points out, none of the two crazy fellows are really ready to press the button, and Trump isn't ready to offend Beijing, described by the publication as Washington's most dangerous adversary.

L'Est Républicain says it can't rule out the worse by the two madmen warning that they could easily slide from the verbal warfare and fire ballistic missiles into each other's territories.

For its part, les Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace credits Trump for preventing the world's most explosive and side-lined leader from achieving recognition through nuclear intimidation.

That's not the view upheld by Le Télégramme which brands Trump as a vulgar village rooster and big mouth who goes around threatening Pyongyang with fire and fury never witnessed on earth not because the vital interest of his country are at stake but out of sheer provocation.

The paper recalls that Richard Nixon also used such madman's rhetoric to make his opponents understand that he was capable of doing anything he wanted except giving in to their demands.

According to the publication, Trump is no Nixon as he has neither the former American President's wisdom nor the rationality expected of a head of state.

L'Union gives the main reasons why it believes the petit game played by the young Kim and Trump will probably not end up in a bloodbath.

Everyone is happy with the status quo, it argues, starting from Chinese who are not ready to accept a greater unified Korea, allied to the United States, South Korea which cannot afford the cost of Korea's reunification and the United States reluctant to have China and Russia on its back.

 

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